Few places on Earth can boast as many masterpieces as the Vatican, but the only way to enjoy them in peace is through an Early Vatican tour. My Vatican tour grants you the earliest entrance to its vast collection, meeting at 7:30 and ensuring you step inside its hallowed halls at 8:00 a.m. sharp. That’s a full 60 minutes before the Vatican officially opens
Once inside I’ll walk you through my favourite itinerary, making sure you come away feeling enriched, entertained, and confident you’ve missed nothing. From the Sistine Chapel to Saint Peter’s Basilica, we’ll explore it all. Read on to find out about my Early Vatican tour in more detail..
My Early Vatican tour gets you straight inside the Sistine Chapel
Stepping straight inside the Vatican with reserved priority entrance tickets, we’ll pass by the stunning Vatican terrace, giving you time to take some pictures. Don’t hang about too long though, because Michelangelo’s masterpiece awaits!
You will be among the first inside the Sistine Chapel, well before the day’s hordes descend, giving you the space and silence to appreciate Michelangelo’s masterpiece for yourself.
Admire the intricacy of his painted frescoes, depicting the nine scenes from the Book of Genesis. Marvel at the details of his characters, and enrich your experience with me, a passionate guide, whose raison d’être is introducing you to these treasures.
Next we’ll explore the Vatican Museums
Passing through the ancient Vatican library, decorated beautifully with a series of stunning frescoes, we’ll start to explore the Vatican’s vast collection. I’ll introduce you to the figures woven into the works of the Hall of Tapestries. I’ll hone in on the highlights of the Gallery of the Candelabra, injecting life into the form of its lifelike marble sculptures. And I’ll talk you through exploring the breathtaking Gallery of Maps, whose vivid frescoed walls depict the fine details of renaissance Italy.
Your Early Vatican tour takes you deeper than other tours, bringing you face-to-face with works by the Great Masters. The extent of this collection amassed by the popes is truly staggering to comprehend – if you spent just one minute looking at each piece it would take you four years. That’s why exploring with an expert, veteran guide is the best way to see the Vatican, condensing the vastness of its highlights so you don’t miss a thing.
Enjoy exclusive access to the Vatican’s secret rooms
Most Vatican tours follow the same route through the Museums, picking out plenty of highlights but never taking guests behind the scenes. My Early Vatican tour differs by showing you some of the Vatican’s secret rooms, rarely visited by the general public despite the wealth of treasures they contain.
Among the highlights of the tour is the hidden Cabinet of Masks. Never visited on standard tours, this room contains a stunning mask mosaic recovered from the emperor Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli. But that’s not all. This secret room houses an array of other treasures the general public seldom see.
Finish your Early Vatican tour in Saint Peter’s Basilica and Square
No Vatican tour would be complete without a visit to the heart of Christianity: Saint Peter’s Basilica. Another of Michelangelo’s architectural commissions (his last, in fact), Saint Peter’s holds the highest honour of being the world’s largest Christian basilica in the world’s smallest (Christian) state.
I’ll feed all your curiosity about the history and legends surrounding the basilica, introducing you to its masterful mosaics and awe-inspiring artworks.
Nourish your knowledge with the story of Bernini’s Great Canopy and what it was made for, and linger in awe before Michelangelo’s story in stone of the Pietà, a heart-rendering sculpture of Mary holding the body of her crucified son.
This is a unique opportunity to explore the Vatican’s treasures in the intimacy of a private group, with the time and space to appreciate their majesty. Spaces are very limited. Reserve your date with the great masters now.